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The Tragedy of a Trim

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“Chill, okay? I cut my own hair all the time.”

“That does not inspire comfort, Newton.”

“God, you’re gonna look so fucking cool, dude. A regular Shelby. It’s in the bone structure, you know? Like, I would just look like a half-bald coconut, but Dr. Cheekbones over here—”

“If you shave a penis into the back of my head as I suspect you might, you will wake up tomorrow morning a completely bald coconut. Do you understand?”

Arguably, they should not be allowed anywhere near clippers or scissors, considering their unprecedented levels of inebriation. Much less allowed to use said impromptu weapons so close to each other’s precious brains. Seriously, is no one monitoring a single thing that happens in the lab, possibly the most important section of the entire Shatterdome? Newt’s scoured the place for cameras a billion times and—


With the Kaiju samples delayed for delivery and Hermann’s calculations slowing each day, they’d spent a good chunk of their Tuesday binging the last season of Peaky Blinders and getting wasted. As one does. Which was their first mistake because everyone knows no queer person can see Thomas Shelby and not have the urge to look exactly like him, but add alcohol to the mix and it becomes:

Someone is getting a haircut immediately.

And the two of them are so very queer and so very trashed.

Smooth talking Hermann into doing shit never works, but by Jove Himself, when the man is drunk Newt can get him to agree to anything. And in this moment at one in the morning, all he wants is to fix Hermann’s hair exactly like a fictional early twentieth century crime boss. No matter how much Hermann complains, Newt knows he could get away with anything, and as much as he’d love to shave a nice dick into the back of that gorgeous head…

No. No dicks. It’s time to be serious.

Hermann sways where he’s seated in the rolly chair as if he’s seconds away from passing out.

“I’m gonna need you to sit still.” He brushes his fingers experimentally through the hair in front of him. It’s pretty. It’s always been pretty. Not the softest or the thickest but a little wavy and dark and Hermann’s, so his heart clenches painfully in his chest at how precious this moment is. Hermann trusts him enough to not fuck up his appearance. That’s crazy.

Or—well. Completely plastered Hermann trusts him. Same thing. Kind of.

He’s winning, okay? He’s winning at...gaining the affection of stuffy physicists. Yeah.

“I’m winning,” he announces with a very manly giggle.

“I wasn’t aware we were having a competition.” The words are so slurred that competition sounds like composition and he just fucking loses it. Oh man. They’re not going to remember shit tomorrow.

Hermann starts slumping to the left again.

“Hey!” Newt’s hand flies forward to slap at his cheek, but it’s too late. The bastard is passed out. Down to a one man party.

“Whatever, man, fine then. I hope you know I’m seriously winning now,” he flips the clippers on at the same time a wave of nausea hits him. Um, no. Fuck off with that. Keep those bad vibes out of his salon, thanks. “Winning at, uh, being less of a lightweight. What’s that called? A heavyweight? A heavyweight champion.”

It’s not exactly...easy...shaving in an undercut when it’s getting increasingly harder to stay upright and his client is just straight-up dead. But he can manage. He does manage, but, like, how is he supposed to cut the hair on top now? Is he supposed to cut it? Because right now it’s looking like some kind of variant of bowl cut. He’s not a damn stylist—what the fuck? Why are they doing this again?

Right. For Tommy Shelby. For Cheekbones. For gays everywhere. He takes a swig from the bottle and makes a confident snip. And another. And another, and another, and the sound of hair being cut is actually pretty soothing, but—

It’s ridiculously hard because he keeps having to pull Hermann’s head up and it keeps sliding back down and he feels a little bit dizzy and nauseous.

“I can’t work in these conditions.”

The floor is looking really comfortable right about now.

“Get. Up.”

Oh, that is not a good voice to wake up to. His first instinct is to scurry up from the hard surface he’s lying on (which is most likely the lab floor...yuck, Drunk Newt,) and apologize for whatever he said last night that caused that voice. Only, when he cracks his eyes open just a sliver, the fluorescent lights are like a thousand suns so no thanks. He pretends to still be sleeping but the pained moan probably gives him away.


If he doesn’t answer maybe he’ll just go away. It is too early to deal with that dumb accent that can’t decide if its owner is English, Welsh, or German, and it doesn’t even matter what time it is because it is always too early for that. (That’s not true. He loves Hermann’s voice even when he’s using it to verbally incinerate him, but Newt is, in fact, grouchy and hungover.)

“Look at me.”

What?” He sits up, grouchy and hungover, hangs his head and uses his hands as a visor to block the light. Oh yeah, he’s definitely going to be sick. A pair of oxfords enter into his limited line of vision. Herman sits in front of him and their knees bump together. Uh-oh. He feels a serious conversation coming on, most definitely about something he said last night. His stomach clenches, probably half from the hangover and half from pure dread.

“I’m going to murder you.”

God, there it is. The—wait.



Fuck. It’s coming back to him. He shaved a penis on Hermann’s head, didn’t he?

His head snaps up in horror, but no, nope, the reality is so much worse. He scrambles backwards. Hermann crawls forward and he doesn’t like that one bit.

“It doesn’t look terrible, okay? What are you doing? It actually kind of suits you!” It’s then he sees the scissors gripped in Hermann’s hand. “Bitch, I don’t think so. Dude? Frankly, you should be thankful, okay, I could’ve just shaved a penis right on top. Like, you gave me all that free real estate without a question, so whose fault is this really?”

“A cock would’ve been preferable to this.”

He’s not wrong.

Hand-to-hand combat ensues in which Hermann has the advantage of revenge fueled adrenaline to overpower his undoubtful hangover, while Newt mostly tries to not be sick on the both of them. Because even while being actively murdered by the object of his affections he is still a gentleman, thank you very much.

As long as he keeps those scissors away from his hair, he’s fine. Too bad his upper body strength is really no match for Dr. Biceps. He’s about to surrender because his stomach seriously cannot take anymore rolling around when, like a sexy angel saving him from damnation, Stacker Pentecost appears looking unphased as ever at seeing his only scientists—two of humanity’s last hopes—wrestle on the floor like twelve year olds. A true blue miracle.

Hermann’s cheeks go pink and his posture straightens where he’s sat straddling Newt, as Pentecost clears his throat. Newt tries not to snort.

“The shipments are arriving early tomorrow around the same time I’m expected to welcome a new member to the ‘Dome. Try to get your business finished up there as quickly as possible. The last thing I need is this person getting first impressions from you two disasters,” he’s staring straight into Newt’s soul as he says this, until his eyes shift to the other disaster seated on top of him. “In the meantime, Dr. Gottlieb, go see if Mr. Choi can do anything about...that.”

He manages to wait after Pentecost has shut the lab door to burst into laughter. Hermann would look positively murderous if it weren’t for the slight quirk of his lips betraying his own amusement.

“Okay, okay. You can shave my head or whatever in retaliation. It’s not like it won’t grow back.”

He seems to consider it until he rakes a hesitant hand through Newt’s hair. Oh. That’s...that’s a nice feeling.

“No,” Hermann decides. “One of us is bad enough. I’d hate to think of the laughing stock we’d be if both of us looked this unfortunate.”

“So you’re saying my hair isn’t already unfortunate? Because you’ve said some stuff in the past that would directly negate that statement.”

It is a rare occasion for a soft smile to grace Hermann’s face, but there it is. Directed down at Newt. He gulps and squirms, realizing the guy is still on top of him and still playing with his hair. Someone is feeling uncharacteristically handsy today.

“It doesn’t look terrible,” Hermann repeats Newt’s earlier words with the tiniest of laughs.

Nope. Abort, abort, abort. He’s fucking cute and pretty and gorgeous even with that sin of a haircut, and Newt can simply not look at him for another second without saying or doing something irreversiblely stupid. His stomach churns and his breath hitches. He covers it up with a fake laugh, turning his head sharply to the side.

“Dude, you gotta go find Tendo. I can’t even look at you.”